NEWS

Nader blitzes state in record attempt

Cassie Norton

If all went according to plan Saturday, Ralph Nader will see his name in the record books. Not for his ultimate goal — to win the U.S. presidency on a third-party ticket — but for making the most campaign stops in one day.

His campaign said he did it, giving speeches at 21 towns across the state in a bid to draw attention to a third option for the American people, and to the issues he is passionate about.

Running this year as an Independent, Nader had to make a speech of at least 10 minutes to at least 10 people at each stop.

At his stop at Lexington High School, about 50 people gathered in the school’s courtyard outside the Global Warming Action Coalition’s annual Energy Fair. There he expounded the virtues of the region where American independence was born, and linked the reign of King George to the presidency of the most recent George.

“This is where the banner was raised against the tyranny of King George the third, this is where the memories are clearest,” he said.

The recent tax bailout “placed on the backs of the taxpayers without any public hearings to speak of” is another example of taxation without representation, he said, and “we’ve got to put an end to this.”

He also spoke to voters about environmental issues, linking energy efficiency with voter efficiency.

“You’ve got to go home and persuade your friends and relatives to be energy-efficient consumers and energy-efficient voters,” he said. “You’re not going to get a change from [Barack] Obama and [John] McCain.”

Nader slammed his opponents, saying that Democratic nominee Obama has raised more money from the oil, coal and gas industries than Republican nominee McCain, and was “a tool of the coal industry” as Illinois’ state senator.